Security consultancy issues shipping guidance following Russian closure of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports
UK-based security consultancy the EOS Risk Group has issued a new shipping guidance for commercial vessels following the termination of the Black Sea “Grain Initiative” that resulted in the closure of vessel traffic to Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
EOS said that, upon termination of the initiative, Russia declared that any ships heading to Ukrainian port facilities could be perceived as carrying military cargo, making them legitimate military targets. In response, Ukraine announced that it would also consider any vessel heading to Russian Black Sea ports as potential carriers of military cargo and thus legitimate targets.
Reports also state that Russia has deployed sea mines, which EOS said “adds another dimension to the already contested domain.” This has led to an increase in activity in the Black Sea domain, which has seen shipping holding off the entrance to the Danube due to Russian targeting of Ukrainian port facilities.
Shipping agencies and insurance companies are therefore advised to exercise caution amid these developments.